Nov 13 2020

Survey of plant species found on the banks of the pond at Haddon Wood in August 2020

   Survey of plant species found on the banks of the pond at Haddon Wood in August 2020.                     

The year 2020 was when coronavirus came to the UK and consequently I was confined to my house and garden for four months due to my husband’s cancer treatment. This meant my walks to Haddon Wood went on hold until the end of July when I was treated to the glorious sight of the pond surrounded by numerous wildflowers in bloom.

      

Wildflowers on the bank of the pond at Haddon Wood on 29th July 2020.

Since the pond was excavated and then sown with wildflower seed in 2014 it seemed to be a good idea to do a plant survey to ascertain what was present. The seed sown came from various sources, one of which was Habitat Aid and was a clay soil wildflower mix, for which a species list is available. Unfortunately this is the only one so comparisons will not be able to be drawn from the seed sown and the species now present. However several interesting plants were found and any survey is useful for future reference.

Results

A couple of species of particular interest were found. The first is Wild Clary, this being only the second site in our 10km square, which is the standard plant recording unit used by the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (1). The other place it is found is at Carymoor Environmental Centre. It has a very scattered distribution in Somerset with most sites near the coast and on the Mendips and Poldens, and is regarded as near threatened on the England Red List (1). This species was not present in the Habitat Aid wild flower seed.

Wild Clary, Salvia verbenaca.

The most exciting find was of Hairy Vetchling which has not been recorded in Somerset since 1971, when it was found on a rubbish tip in Street (1). It is regarded as a casual, which means that it does not remain very long in a particular area, however it has persisted in a few places around London (2). It is classed as an alien originating as a garden escape or a bird or grain contaminant and therefore is not eligible for inclusion on the England Red List. However this record will be included in the Somerset Rare Plant Register (1).

                                       

Hairy Vetchling, Lathyrus hirsutus, flower.          Hairy Vetchling, Lathyrus hirsutus, seed pod.

The full list of species found around the pond is shown in the table on the following two pages. I have also submitted the records to the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, so they are now in the Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora.

Plant species recorded on the banks around the pond at Haddon Wood in August 2020.

 

Latin Name

 

Common Name

 

Abundance

 

Achillea millefolium

 

Yarrow

 

Numerous

 

Arrhenatherum elatius

 

False Oat-grass

 

Numerous

 

Centaurea debeauxii Chalk Knapweed Several
Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle Several
Cirsium vulgare Spear Thistle Several
Dactylus glomerata Cocksfoot Numerous
Daucus carota Wild Carrot Numerous
Epilobium hirsutum Great Willowherb Several
Galium album Hedge Bedstraw Numerous
Galium verum Lady’s Bedstraw Several
Helminthotheca echioides Bristly Oxtongue Several
Juncus inflexus Hard Rush Few
Knautia arvensis Field Scabious Few
Lathyrus hirsutus Hairy Vetchling Few
Lathyrus pratensis Meadow Vetchling Several
Leontodon hispidus Rough Hawkbit Few
Leucanthemum vulgare Oxeye Daisy Few
Lolium perenne Perennial Ryegrass Numerous
Lotus corniculatus Birdsfoot Trefoil Numerous
Malva moschata Musk Mallow Few
Phleum pratense Timothy Numerous
Plantago lanceolata Ribwort Plantain Numerous
Poterium sanguisorba Salad Burnet Few
Prunella vulgaris Self-heal Several
Pulicaria dysenterica Common Fleabane Few
Ranunculus repens Creeping Buttercup Several
Rhinanthus minor Yellow-rattle Several
Rumex crispus Curled Dock Several
Salvia verbenaca Wild Clary One
Silene dioica Red Campion Few
Silene latifolia White Campion Few
Trifolium pratense Red Clover Numerous
Trifolium repens White Clover Numerous
Typha latifolia Bulrush Numerous
Urtica dioica Common Nettle Numerous
 Vicia cracca Tufted Vetch Few
Vicia sativa Common Vetch Numerous

 

Conclusion

 

In June 2013 Simon Leach did a survey in Haddon Wood which included a list of species which would be suitable for introduction into a wildflower area (3). I am pleased to say that some are now present around the banks of the pond. They are Yarrow, Meadow Vetchling, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Self-heal and Yellow Rattle. Three of these species were present in the Habitat Aid clay soil wildflower seed mix and overall I found ten species which were present in the mix.

My survey is not complete, especially with regard to the earlier flowering species. However there are some interesting results and all being well I intend to do some more work around the pond next year.

In conclusion the banks around the pond now have a good selection of species, which can now act as a seed source for other areas in Haddon Wood and also as a resource for the study, enjoyment and education of our wildflowers.

 

References

  • Crouch,H. 2020. Personal communication.
  • Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora
  • Leach, S. 2013. Haddon Wood Plant List, available on The Friends of Haddon Wood website.

 

  Daphne Osmond 

 

Huge thank you to Daphne for sharing this report with us

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